The perfect books for your summer reading list

The covers for all of the books listed, in no particular order.

The covers for all of the books listed, in no particular order.

Lizzie deBrabander, Op/Ed Editor

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As the halls begin to empty and the temperature rises, it’s apparent that summer is approaching. With all of the free time soon to be coming our way, I’m more than excited to crack the spine of a new book and get lost in a new world. In the hopes that everyone else is too, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite books that I think would be perfect for a long car ride with the windows down or a warm day at the beach.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue:
This is the perfect book to kick off a list centered around warm weather, as it takes place in Europe in the heart of summer. The story follows Henry Montague, a “Lord to be” in historic Europe is going on one last adventure with his best friend Percy before a lifetime of responsibilities. Many complications arise, and the trip turns into a chase for eternal life, full of pirates and villians and mystery. Not to mention that the two boys may just be falling for each other. The Gentleman’s Guide is perfect, as it brings the feeling of pleasant summer nights and first love.

Dangerous Girls:
If you’re looking for something with more scandal and suspense, then “Dangerous Girls” is a must read. In this novel by Abigail Haas, Anna, a rich socialite, is on Spring Break in Aruba with her boyfriend and her friends. However, when her best friend Elise is murdered, Anna is charged for it and sent to prison. The story follows her life awaiting the trial, mixed with pieces of her life before, and a twist awaits readers at the end.

We Were Liars:
This book is quite similar to “Dangerous Girls,” in that it’s a suspense novel about the upper class in summer. However, “We Were Liars” left me in shock and tears. This novel follows the Sinclair family, who have a private island off the coast of Massachusetts. The four teenage cousins have an inseparable bond, but after one of the cousins, Cadence, has a head injury, she knows that something terrible has happened, but she can’t work out what. This book is short enough that you could read it in one trip to the beach, but it will leave you thinking about it for months.

The Secret Life of Bees:
On a more classic note, I’ve always associated “The Secret Life of Bees” with summer, as it takes place in the South Carolina heat. It’s the summer of 1964 and some strange circumstances, as well as a desire to know more about her mother, send Lily Owens to live with three black beekeeping sisters. This book is so beautifully written and you will instantly melt into the words and the story.

Big Little Lies:
I’ve always described this book to people as “a murder mystery about Australian wine moms,” and I stand by that description. Three women, all with children at the same school, struggle with the drama between the school parents and their own, more important issues, like abuse, troubled pasts, and adultery. All of this tension is set around one event: a murder at the school’s charity auction. Even though the description may sound trashy, the author manages to create a funny, heartwarming, and suspenseful story that is perfect to entertain you during lazy summer days.

Everything Leads to You:
Lastly, a little summer romance never hurt anyone. In this book by Nina LaCour, Emi, a young set designer, finds a love letter that leads her to Ava, a beautiful girl with a troubled past. In a summer that Emi has promised herself will be unforgettable, she and Ava begin to fall in love. The book takes place in California, on the set of an awe-inspiring small film. I’m usually not into romance novels, but having the love story be between two girls was something fresh and new, while still being written amazingly.

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